HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State’s basketball teams swept Lawson State at Tom Drake Coliseum on Monday night.
DeMaurea Moore’s game-winning jumper with 14 seconds remaining lifted the Lady Lions to a 50-48 victory, and the Wallace State men capped the perfect night with a 70-60 triumph over the Cougars.
In the men’s game, Wallace State notched an important conference win behind a fast start and a strong second half by Demarkus Lampley.
“We needed a win, but more importantly we played together and kept our composure when Lawson State made its run. We played as well offensively as we could in the first half, and we never let them tie it up and gain an extra ounce of momentum,” said Wallace State coach John Meeks. “We’ve been close in a lot of games lately, so this feels good.”
The Lions (14-12, 2-8 Alabama Community College Conference) maintained control from the outset, rolling to an early 17-3 lead with 10:56 left in the first half, capped by a pair of Jalen Hodges free throws. Wallace State pushed its lead to 25-11 on a 3-pointer by Jerry Lwamba with 7:11 to go before intermission.
Wallace State enjoyed as much as a 17-point lead in the first half and had a 39-27 cushion at the break.
Lawson State opened the second half on an 11-2 run, trimming Wallace State’s edge to three points. Wallace State’s Dee’Quan Fleming later slowed the surge with a 3-pointer, pushing the Lions’ lead back to eight points.
Clinging to a three-point lead, Wallace State pulled away over the final 3:18.
Jonathan Andre and Lampley converted three-point plays on consecutive possessions for the Lions, and Lampley drained a trey from the top of the key, extending Wallace State’s lead to 64-54 with 1:27 remaining and putting a bow on the win.
Lampley poured in 16 of his 19 points in the second half, including hitting six key free throws down the stretch.
Andre finished with 15 points, Mike Johnson contributed 14 points and Hodges chipped in with 12 for the Lions, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
“I was proud of Demarkus on the offensive end and Dee’Quan Fleming on the defensive side, especially since both of them were in early foul trouble. We need them both,” said Meeks, whose team avenged a Feb. 1 loss to the Cougars.
Roderick Melton Jr. scored a game-high 23 points for Lawson State (11-14, 5-5 ACCC). Claude Newell had nine points and Jalen Lovett added seven.
Wallace State 50, Lawson State 48
DeMaurea Moore scored the final six points for Wallace State, including the game-winner with 14 seconds remaining as the Lady Lions kept grips on a first-round bye in next month’s conference tournament.
Wallace State (19-7, 6-2 ACCC) trailed 48-44 with 3:05 remaining before Moore went to work, scoring on three straight possessions. Moore’s layup tied the game at 48-all with 1:10 remaining, and her jumper from the elbow with 14 seconds left was the difference.
Lawson State had a couple of chances to tie the game on its final possession. Sakina Wynn missed a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds left, and Kiara Glenn’s layup was too strong as time expired.
“We knew Lawson State was going to come in here with revenge on their minds and play us as tough as they could. That’s exactly what happened. They needed this win as much as we did. We made a couple of extra plays and our players gritted it out the last few minutes,” said Wallace State interim coach Jessica McBrayer.
Moore and fellow freshman Channing Gafford combined to score the final 15 points for Wallace State.
Gafford drained a 3-pointer with 4:04 left in the game to notch things at 44-44.
Lawson State answered with the next four points before Moore got hot from the field.
Moore scored eight of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, Gabby Hill finished with 11 points, Gafford added seven and Joy Sadler pitched in with five.
“If someone isn’t having a good game, we are fortunate enough to have new people step up and create a spark. It was two freshmen in this game. Both of them had been in a lull and needed a confidence boost,” McBrayer said.
Wallace State led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and built as much as an 11-point lead in the second quarter. Lawson State closed the half on a strong run and tied the game at 25-25 by halftime.
Lawson State (11-13, 2-5 ACCC) nursed a 35-33 edge at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Lions dip out of conference play on Saturday, traveling to West Georgia Technical College.
Wallace State’s men travel to Marion Military Institute on Thursday.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.
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